Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is out and ready for testing

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is out and ready for testing

This competitive balance adds some extra intrigue to Microsoft's shift, as Chromium rose to prominence partly due to its ties to Chrome. Microsoft has rolled out its first Insider builds of the new Edge, and though there's a long way to go before we get to final release, this is the point where the company begins looping developers and users in on the development cycle. Microsoft Edge is now available on both Dev and Canary channels.

Microsoft Edge Dev channel - Updated weekly. Later will come Beta and Stable releases that should be more reliable. There also will be a coming Beta Channel, where updates arrive every six weeks, and a coming Stable Channel.

We'd like you to be among the first to try out what we've been working on. So far, it's contributed 275 changes to the Chromium project, Microsoft's Edge team said in a separate blog post.

If your ears perked up when you heard that the next version of Microsoft Edge will be built using Chromium, then today is an exciting day. Like the current Edge browser, the homepage also displays a news feed with tabs for certain categories (news, sports, entertainment, etc). Moreover, it is worth pointing out that the existing version of the Edge browser on your device at the moment will remain unchanged - the experience is exclusively available through the Microsoft Edge Insider Channels. "With this initial release, we have made a number of changes to the user interface to make our product feel more like Microsoft Edge". Which browser do you now use?

Canary and Developer builds of the new browser are available for Windows 10 64-bit operating systems from the company's Microsoft Edge Insider page, with support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and MacOS planned in future.

Once in, and things look very similar to Google's browser, if slightly more squared off (although not to the unapologetically right-angled extent of the soon-to-be-shoved-off-a-cliff original Edge.) Naturally, rather than being signed in with a Google account, it's the Microsoft account that takes centre stage. By harnessing the open-source Chromium engine, Microsoft can offer Edge users better web compatibility.

However, it also means Google's already formidable power over the web - deciding in effect which technologies are supported and which aren't - is that much stronger.

Microsoft found itself in a battle against Google, whose almost entire bottom line is based on what happens in a web browser, with its own internally developed engine.

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